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Spycraft 2.0: Practice Makes Perfect

Practice Makes Perfect

If combat is the high spot of your game, especially if you like it cinematic and exciting, this resource supplies a lot of ideas (complete, of course, with appropriate game mechanics) to make it even more exciting and spectacularly cinematic. It does these through character options and feats, enabling each character to develop his own personal combat style by focussing on particular weapons and techniques. Characters can pick up advanced actions and tricks in place of taking new weapon proficiencies as they rise in level.

Naturally, you can do the same thing with NPCs - you want your antagonists to be able to put up a good fight after all, and to be memorable foes. A mechanism is provided for building this in to quick NPCs, whilst those you wish to detail in full - your major opponents - will use the same rules as characters. Either can use any of the various tricks and techniques presented here, of course.

The range of ideas presented is quite varied, including plenty of unarmed techniques for the brawlers (or martial artists) as well as ones to enhance gunplay for runners and gunners. There are even delightful quirks like Exhibition Shooting, which allows you to target items or scenery with a spectacular shot, showing off - 'That could have been your head!' as you demolish a statue for example.

Each trick - and there are 53 of them - has a descriptive paragraph showing how it works along with the necessary rules information to make it happen around your gaming table. They are also summarised in a chart for quick reference.

If that wasn't enough there is also a whole bunch of feats - basic combat feats, melee feats, ranged feats and unarmed combat ones - that you can take to further customise your fighting style. Many relate to mastery with particular weapons, and some even allow you to recover - more or less gracefully - from rolling a 1 when you attack!

These are somewhat mechanistic and best suited to those groups who'd like to be cinematic but who prefer to play out combat strictly according to the rules. If you tend to free-form and let things flow, relying on player descriptions of actions rather than stepping mechanically through each round of combat, this may be of less use - but it's still worth a look if only to understand how the rules can be made to support whatever it is that you want to do.

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Reviewed: 21 January 2015